Section 15
Chapter 14,310

A comparison of the yield and composition of various mixtures of lucerne and grass sown in alternate rows with lucerne sown as a pure stand

Cullen, N.A.

New Zeal J Agr Res 8(3): 613-624


DOI: 10.1080/00288233.1965.10419901
Accession: 014309701

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Various lucerne (Medicago sativa L.)/grass associations were compared with lucerne sown alone over a three-year period on high-fertility soil at Invermay Research Station. Companion grasses included cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.), timothy (Phleum pratense L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), short-rotation ryegrass (Lolium pereme X L. multiflorum), phalaris (Phalaris tuberosa L.), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), and prairie grass (Bromus catharticus Vahl.). All mixtures out-yielded lucerne sown alone in the first year, but differences in yield were small thereafter. The inclusion of a companion grass helped to control weeds except in the phalaris treatment. Although all the grasses had some merit, cocksfoot and tall fescue were considered superior to the others. Mixtures of lucerne with cocksfoot and tall fescue were more productive in winter than lucerne alone, weed control was good, and the balance of lucerne and grass was satisfactory. In the first year the grass was the dominant component of both mixtures: in the second year yields were similar from lucerne and grass, while in the final year lucerne contributed the greater portion of the herbage. It is considered that more use could be made of these mixtures where conditions are similar to those of Invermay Research Station.

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